The opportunity to write book reviews on Amazon works both for authors whose books get reviewed and for authors who write reviews for other books.
Let’s start with why you as an author want reviews on Amazon for your books:
While Amazon’s algorithms for ranking books in categories and lists are secret, it is a good bet that the number of reviews is factored into the algorithms.
And while reviews probably make the “machine” of Amazon happy, reviews also encourage people to buy your books.
If people are considering buying your book, they are much more likely to do so if they can read several favorable reviews as opposed to a book that has no reviews or only a couple of negative reviews.
Now before you go running off to get all your friends to write 5-star reviews for you, consider this:
A nonfiction book targeted at a specific audience can authentically have all 5-star reviews if the book delivers on its promise.
But fiction is subjective — what someone likes another person may dislike. (I have recently learned that, when you write fiction on a topic on which many people have opinions of their own, the reviews are liable to be all over the rating chart.)
In other words, it is okay to have a range of reviews on a fiction book. (For example, megabook THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins does NOT have all 5-star reviews.)
As an author, we need to ask for reviews, and I have been adding this request at the end of my Kindle ebooks. If we do not ask, how can we expect readers to know that we would appreciate their help?
Additional help for authors:
People can also help our books by clicking “like” at the top of a book’s page on Amazon and by clicking “yes” in answer to “Was this review helpful to you?” when it is a positive review.
Further, people can add a comment to a positive review. In other words, people can explain why a particular review was so helpful.
How do you as an author benefit from reviewing the books of other authors?
Besides participating in a community of authors helping each other, you can get immediate recognition for your own books. This can happen in two ways:
One way is that you can manually add your name at the end of a review and include the name of one of your books. (Amazon recently answered an author’s query with the response that you may not list more than one book.) If you have more than one book, you may choose the one that is the best “fit” with the type of book being reviewed.
The other way is the automatic “signature” and link to your Amazon public profile that Amazon puts at the top of each of your reviews. Be sure to optimize this opportunity. (To do so, see Chapter I of TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON AND FACEBOOK.)
Click here to read Part II of “Harnessing the Power of Amazon Reviews for Authors” about reviews of your books on other Amazon country sites.
© 2012 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks. A new nonfiction ebook of hers is TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO MARKET YOUR BOOK ON AMAZON AND FACEBOOK and her newest fiction ebook is the thriller CIA FALL GUY.
She also has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com